As some of you know, because I whined about it really loud, I had a technical glitch put a few bumps in my launch last week. (The Kindle store lost my book on day 3, right as the algorithms started kicking in. They didn’t fully resolve it until day 7. We don’t need to relive it.) I was cranky and I was whiny and I was annoying. Seriously.
In the meanwhile, I don’t pay much attention to paperback sales. For one thing, that’s still tradpub’s territory; indies mostly rise or fall on ebook sales. For another, the picture of my cover that CreateSpace gave Amazon is blurry and awful and in my opinion kind of screams SELF PUBLISHED. I asked them if they could do better, and they said no. Hey, I appreciate their honesty. And finally, I have a few friends who still read paper books (can you imagine?) so I knew I’d get a bump there at launch that wouldn’t last.
So long story slightly less long, I didn’t check my paperback sales all day today, despite the obsessive way I check the Kindle sales graph. Do you remember the Seinfeld where George’s father was selling something out of his garage and the one guy would ring the bell every time he got a sale? My husband keeps threatening to get me a bell, is how often I check the KDP graph. But I check in with CreateSpace maybe every other day, at most. I didn’t really notice that the paperback–which was not affected by the glitch–did a small but steady business throughout my launch. Today I sold a couple more. And as of 8:28 EST it’s got a 15k sales rank, it’s the #59 best seller in dark fantasy, and the #17 hot new release in dark fantasy. Not incredible numbers, no, but not bad for a first book from a total unknown, either.
This isn’t a major victory: it’s not a very big category, and it won’t last. Books in the print store yo-yo in the rankings with alarming speed. By the time you read this I’ll probably have a sales rank of 225,000 again and you’ll think I made the whole thing up. And none of it shows at all from the ebook side.
But for the short time it does last, that’s maybe a few more eyeballs on my book, which could potentially bring more attention to the ebook as well. Which brings me to the portion of this post that is not about me. I know right?
I considered not doing a paperback version at all, at least not at the same time I released the ebook. From what I see around forums and blogs and such, that’s a pretty popular sentiment. Launches are busy, CreateSpace is a headache in many ways, and most people’s paperback sales are what, 5% of their total sales? It doesn’t always seem worth it.
But you should still do one. Because you never know. This seems unlikely to have a big effect on the overall success of my book, but who wouldn’t take any boost they can get, right?
(Also I feel guilty because I’ve been crying on Marcia’s shoulder so much, when all the while there was a bright side that I was completely ignoring.)